Nora H. Faires died on Sunday, February 6, 2011, of metastatic breast cancer at her Ann Arbor, Michigan, residence. She was 61 years old.
Born in the small western Pennsylvania town of Sharon on August 3, 1949, she was the youngest child of Edon and Gwen Faires, both immigrants from Canada. She received her BA, MA, and Ph.D. in History from the University of Pittsburgh. Due to her illness, she retired as Professor of History and Gender and Women's Studies from Western Michigan University in December 2010. Previously she taught at University of Michigan-Flint, University of Texas at Arlington, and University of Puget Sound. Nora was an accomplished social and cultural historian of migration studies, studying the intersections of ethnicity, race, gender, class, and religion in the United State and Canada.
Among her many honors, she was a two-time Fulbright Distinguished Chair (York University and the University of Calgary) and the winner of the Albert B. Corey Prize (American Historical Association and Canadian History Association joint prize) for the best book on Canadian-American relations, Permeable Border (with John Bukowczyk et. al.); the William Gilbert Award (American Historical Association) for the best article on teaching history, "The American Family and the Little Red Schoolhouse" (with John Bukowczyk); State History Award, Historical Society of Michigan, for Jewish Life in the Industrial Promised Land (with Nancy Hanflik); Regents' Medal, University of Michigan; Chancellor's Gold Star Award, University of Michigan-Flint; Student Government Distinguished Professor Award, University of Michigan Flint; State of Michigan Excellence in Teaching Award, University of Michigan-Flint; Corporate Woman of Achievement, Greater Flint YWCA; Research Award, Lewis Walker Institute for the Study of Ethnic and Race Relations, Western Michigan University; and Research Award, College of Arts and Sciences, Western Michigan University. She is also the co-author of a recent textbook, Women and America: An Integrated History (with Janet Coryell) and a forthcoming collection of essays, Migrants and Migration in Modern North America (with Dirk Hoerder).
Nora successfully coexisted with cancer for 15 years, thanks to the expert and respectful care of oncologist Dr. Elaine Chottiner, St. JosephMercy Hospital, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her sister, Dr. Nancy Faires Conklin (Jim), preceded her in death from metastatic breast cancer. She is survived by her brother, Dr. Douglas (Barbara) Faires of Pulaski, Pennsylvania; niece Erika (Matt) Faires of Boston, Massachusetts; and many cherished close personal and professional friends.
Memorial contributions in Nora's name may be made to the Nora Faires Graduate Student Research and Travel Fund, Department of History, Western Michigan University; the Southern Poverty Law Center; or any progressive organization.